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Strength Move for Walkers: Bridge

Get a speedier stride with stronger glutes and hips.

By Michele Stanten

Ready to get stronger?

If you’re just joining us, feel free to jump right in. The key thing to know about strength training is you should do it at least twice a week, and with the SilverSneakers Million Pound Challenge, you have options. You can take a SilverSneakers class or other group fitness class that incorporates strength training, or try a new gym workout. Or you can follow along with me as I share one new strength move each week to help you build a five-move circuit by the end of the month.

In week 1, we did a squat. In week 2, we did a bird dog. This week’s move is the bridge, which targets your glutes and hips. A strong lower body will speed up your stride—and help you feel more stable and balanced every day. Here’s how to do it.

Step #1: Lie on Back with Knees Bent

Your feet should be flat and about hip-width apart. Place them a comfortable distance away from your glutes. You can relax your arms at your sides.

Step #2: Lift Hips, Then Lower

Contract your glutes and abs, press into your heels, and lift your hips off the ground. Your body should form a straight line between your knees and chest. Hold for a second, then lower. Make sure your knees aren’t falling in or out to the sides. Aim to do one to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Make It Your Own

Like most exercises, you can—and should—customize the bridge to make it work for you. Try this:

  • To make it easier, do this move on a supportive bed instead of the floor.
  • To make it harder, move your feet in closer to your body until your shins are vertical at the top of the movement.
  • To create your own circuit, do a set of squats, a set of bird dogs, and then a set of bridges. Repeat this circuit between three and five times for a three-move strength workout. Rest at least a minute between circuits.

Note: The exercises in this workout may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. Please consult your physician before beginning a physical activity program to make sure it’s safe for you.

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